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Amy Zhai ’22.
Amy Zhai ’22 is among six seniors recently awarded Fulbright English Teaching Assistantships. Here, Zhai tells why she applied for this opportunity in Cambodia, and how Hamilton has prepared her.
Why did you choose to apply for the Fulbright ETA?

In high school I did a literacy project inspired by young learners in Cambodia. By returning as a Fulbright ETA, I will be able to connect and learn more and form a more mutual and lasting relationship with the urban Cambodian community.            

What about teaching in another country is appealing to you?

Teaching in another country appeals to me because it allows for cultural exchange of traditions and ideas while sharing the common goal of education. 

How did Hamilton prepare or motivate you to embark on this path?

Hamilton prepared me by offering opportunities to teach English to refugees and immigrants through the SHINE program. Hamilton also supported my other education-related pursuits with children at the Thea Bowman House, Double H, Generations Child Care, and the New England Center for Children that helped me learn and hone the soft skills necessary to be an effective classroom teacher.

Amy Zhai ’22

Major: Psychology
Birthplace: Cleveland, Ohio
High School: International School of Tianjin
Activities: COOP Senior Fellow and volunteer, HAVOC volunteer

Anything else you’d like to add?

I found out that I received the Fulbright Grant while in the COOP. [Director of Community Outreach/COOP] Amy James wrote one of my recommendations and ended up being the first to find out about my award. [Student Fellowships Coordinator] Ginny Dosch was in KJ presenting when she received my email minutes later. She came to the COOP to tell Amy, not knowing I was there. All three of us got to celebrate this accomplishment, serendipitously, together first, before I got to call my parents who live overseas a few hours later. Such a fond memory.

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